Charging for overnight superhospital stays: report

Radio-Canada is reporting that the Quebec government is thinking about charging patients to stay overnight at the new superhospitals.

Right now people have the option to fork out extra fees for semi-private and fully private hospital rooms.

Both the MUHC and the CHUM superhospitals will have only individual rooms to decrease the chance of infections.

Radio-Canada says the government is now looking at charging to use the new individual hospital rooms, exploring options such as paying based on how much money you earn, or paying the kind of fees charged at long-term care homes.

The MUHC said this is news to them.

"We don't know anything about this proposal and we'll be looking into it," spokesman Ian Popple told CJAD 800 News.

The government rakes in about $60-million a year from charging for private and semi-private hospital rooms.

Pierre Blain, executive director of the patients' rights group, Regroupement provincial des comités d'usagers, said if this goes through, the poor and the elderly will be hardest hit.

"It means that perhaps some people will be afraid of going to the hospital thinking perhaps they will have to pay for that," Blain told CJAD 800 News.

Blais said such a measure would be unacceptable and they'd fight it tooth and nail.

"A hospital is a public service and we are not going on vacation when we go to a hospital. We go there because we need care and it should be free."

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  1. joeN posted on 01/14/2014 03:39 PM
    PQ economics pure and simple. The pot banging Marois was generous with the red squares last year and now they are flirting with charging patients for overnight stays?? Wrong priorities and they continue to scare away tax dollars away from this province. Who in their right mind wants to set up shop here or move to this 3 ring circus of a province?
  2. Realist posted on 01/14/2014 04:31 PM
    Absolutly unbelievable. The planning for the "Super" hospital should have included ward rooms as well as private and semi-private ones. If a person is sick and needs hospitalization then this would be a restrictive measure and a danger to public health and safety.

    I suppose this is just another way that the PQ government is managing its finances, tax the sick.
  3. Leah Gagnon posted on 01/14/2014 07:24 PM
    This is ridiculous! It's a public hospital, it was built with money from our taxes, no one should have to pay extra. If it's a private hospital built with private funds, then they can charge whatever they wish, but not the case here!
  4. Frank posted on 01/14/2014 08:10 PM
    Bienvenue chez "Hotel Marios"
  5. ric posted on 01/14/2014 10:00 PM
    That's it, tax the sick. This joke government needs to get it's priorities straight. Maybe she'll only charge the English and the minorities. Maybe the patients should put on little red squares and bang their bedpans. It worked before.
  6. Michael posted on 01/14/2014 10:18 PM
    Are the hospitals not being merged into the super hospitals going to end up with more patients that they obviously can't handle because of this idiot proposal?
  7. Me posted on 01/14/2014 11:25 PM
    That is a false calculation by the PQ. With all the money they will save on nosocomial infections (C.difficile, MRSA and VRE), they will be able to finance the cost for these private rooms 5 times over. No need to charge the patient for a measure that will actually save money to the healthcare system!!! Just in antibiotics, C.difficile produces added costs around 2700$ per event (and not even counting the other induced costs such as increased length of hospital stay and mortality/morbidity). Multiply this by 4000 (average annual rate of C.difficile in Quebec) and you get 10 800 000$ that you don't have to spend for a preventable infection. Studies show that the total economy each year could be around 200 million dollars, when all costs are factored in. And private rooms are a big part of infection prevention programs, along with hand hygiene and antibiotic stewardship.
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